Campagnolo square tapered BB lengths

bice Posts: 772
edited July 2018 in Workshop
I am wanting to put a square tapered Campagnolo Xenon triple chainring on an Italian steel frame Ciocc. I have two old cup and cone Italian bottom brackets.

One is Gipiemme and one is Shimano 600. Both are in excellent condition, but the Shimano is better quality IMHO, with rubber seals.

The spindle lengths are both 111mm.

This post suggests 115mm spindle length is needed for Campagnolo lower grade triple cranks: viewtopic.php?t=12639132

Is 115mm essential? And does it apply to Xenon anyway?

The taper is different on Campagnolo to Shimano.

So if I use the Shimano spindle, I might gain 4.5mm as the cranks will fit on further down the spindle (hopefully not bottoming out, however).

Any views on this?

It is a shame to have two Italian bottom brackets in good condition and then have to buy a third.


  • keezx
    keezx Posts: 1,322
    111 mm will do for steel frames with 28,6 seat tube.
    115 mm is necessary for alu frames with seat tube > 30 mm
    The limit is determind by how far the front mech can swing inward.

    Shimano axles are not good with Campagnolo cranks, nor far enough on the axle means instability.
  • bice
    bice Posts: 772
    As a test, I have just tried my Campagnolo Xenon chainrings with a cup-and-cone, square tapered BB 115mm Gipiemme with an Italian steel frame.

    This steel bike is my best, a 10-speed (1990s Lazzaretti), and not the one for the Xenon chainrings, which is abroad (Ciocc, steel, mid 1980s, 8spd).

    The chain line was bad to a 10 speed block. I think it would improve with a 111mm BB.

    I then put a new Chorus 102mm cartridge BB on to the bike. The chainline was way better, but the granny was grinding against the frame.

    I know Xenon is not higher end Campagnolo, but I think a 111mm would give a better chain line than a 115mm. Or is there a length between 102 and 111mm?

    I need a triple for southern Italian mountains (and I don't like compacts either, as I find I am forever changing chainrings).
  • keezx
    keezx Posts: 1,322
    My post wasn't clear enough?
    Just get a (ISO) cartridge BB 111 mm.....
  • bice
    bice Posts: 772
    What you said was clear, for which thanks.

    Confusion comes from elsewhere.

    It looks like I am going to have to get one of these Centaur 111mm cartridge BBs. In some places it says 115mm for triples; but in fact Ribble says the same as you that 111mm is fine for a steel frame: ... m-bracket/

    That would more or less make conform to my experience: when I put this Xenon triple on my bike with a Chorus 102mm BB, it did turn and the axle bolts had not bottomed out on the spindle. But the granny scratched the frame.

    So 9mm more is ample. In fact, likely to be too much re the chainline ... unless there is some surprise like the shell of the Centaur cartridge BB. (My Record cranks on the Chorus BB sit deep within it: seemingly within the frame itself. The chainline is perfect.)

    And, of course, a cartridge BB is a one-shot choice. If it fits well, then it is fine. If it is out, then you have an expensive paperweight.

    If I could find a cheap Campag 111mm spindle, I would give it a try as I have two perfectly good cup-and-cone Italian thread BBs (Gipiemme and Shimano 600). I was wrong above: they are both 115mm not 111mm.
  • keezx
    keezx Posts: 1,322
    bice wrote:

    And, of course, a cartridge BB is a one-shot choice. If it fits well, then it is fine. If it is out, then you have an expensive paperweight.

    The 111 mm Centaur BB isn't cheap but it's the last one you wll have to buy, it's rebuildable (same construction as the Record and Chorus ones) with new bearings and will last even if you are not with us anymore....
    The Ribble price is fair...
    Can't you borrow one for fitting purpose?

    6 or 7 years ago I rode a couple of months with a Raleigh steel frame (Reynolds 531 Professional) , 111 mm Campagnolo
    BB (closed cartridge model) and Veloce triple crankset.
    Everything worked fine , a strong indication that your intentions will work out fine...
    Edit 2 As we speak I have a "classic" bike build (25 y. old steel lugged frame) up with Centaur 111 mm BB (the Ribble one) and standard Centaur double crankset.
    If you like I can fit a Racing T triple crank (must be somewhere in my garbage box) on the RH side to see how things look in that setup.....
  • Italin thread bikes use the 111mm bb according to campag tech specs. It is the bsa thread bikes that need the 115mm bb. That is a new one for me. -wheel building and other stuff.
  • keezx
    keezx Posts: 1,322
    Campagnolo can send into the world what they want, but I think that 1 mm difference won't make the difference..
  • humm
    humm Posts: 1
    If you search the web trying to establish the correct bottom bracket length for Campagnolo Race Triple cranksets you will get 2 answers
    and 111mm
    You will also get a lot of theories regarding British and Italian cups, Symmetrical and Asymmetrical BBs and the relative merits of Centaur Chorus Record and the humble Veloce.
    Having recently had to attend to my BB (clicking noises), I discovered that I had installed a 111mm Tifosi BB and it was the right length.
    In desperation I checked out one of the Campagnolo leaflets in my BB box.
    The truth is that for Veloce BBs on a triple 111mm is fine if your tubes are 28.6mm (mine are). This gives a 45mm chainline. If your tubes are wider then 115mm which gives a 47.5mm chainline may be necessary for clearance.

    Of course the conversation will run and run but I suspect the answer is more practical than magical. You need sufficient length for clearance and of course that depends on crankset design but for a triple the campagnolo instructions are reasonably clear - if you can find them.

    So the answer is

    Race Triple thin tubes 111 fat tubes 115
  • keezx
    keezx Posts: 1,322
    Someone wrote that allready almost 2 years ago.....